When I returned from this year's installment of the 20th Century Literature conference in Louisville, Kentucky, I brought back many photos worthy of sharing. I've been pretty circumspect about doing so, but the fact that I'm writing something about my experiences on that trip right now prompted me to "repurpose" one of my favorites, which my regular readers will probably remember, in order to make a point. Here's the photo:What I like about the image is its serenity. There may be something seething underneath these cool surfaces, but one's first impression is of calm and solitude. But that impression was founded on an illusion. The room was actually quite loud. Between the concert blaring in the next room and the noise of conversations behind me, the only peace I found was a manufactured one. This is what I saw when I turned around:Together, these two views comprised a diptych in time. I spent a long time looking back and forth between them. The more I think about it, the more I'm struck by the sense that the contrast was sublime. Sometimes it's merely a question of where you stand.
My female shadow is coming closer. Check out this e-mail I received today:
Dear Cascade Fleet Members,I wish I could attend. I even have a horny hat to wear for the occasion. Stranger, still, the message above was embedded within a reply on which I was copied:
Viking Fest is next week and I have not heard from many of you about attending this event. So that we may have an accurate head count for the Bayside Broiler if you would let me know if you are attending it would be greatly appreciated.
The cost of the dinner is $35/per person which includes tax and tip. This includes a non-acholoic drink.
My email address is: [ADDRESS DELETED]@aol.com
The persons who will be attending are:
Brody and Chandra Kunz
Roger Martindill and Karen Karen Hanenburg
Gary and Cindi LaSala
Gary and Ingrid Bruner - Dinner only
Richard and Diane Foreman
Those who have expressed interest:
Charlotte Bertsch and Paul Meshke
Chuck and Ingrid Klein
Those who have attened in the past:
Evan and Janis McAllister
Dick & Diane… Thank you so very much for sharing Opening Day with Karen and I. Your vessel was the perfect piece for this “showing” and your hospitality was superb. Thanks for allowing “me” to kick back and “have-a-ball” while you folks did all the work!I know, you were about to write me that my horny hat is not authentically Viking. But judging from this latter missive, this crowd that Charlotte Bertsch hangs with is theoretically savvy in that ironic, postmodern way. Not only does this crowd eschew having a ball in order to "have-a-ball," its members also recognize that the word "me" is always already a lie unless it is bracketed by scare quotes. Oh, and are you as curious as I am to find out what this "showing" consisted of? I'm especially intrigued by the hermaphroditic entwining of "vessel" and "piece." Perhaps it is intended to underscore the moi's paradoxical dimension, namely the fact that it is a receptacle we try in vain to fill, failing to comprehend that inside and outside are cut from the same cloth or, as the idiom would have it, "of a piece." In a sense, we are all vassals of this vessel, which threatens to engulf everything in its path. The Vikings were a piece-loving people. But they knew where to pour out their blood.
We are looking forward to Poulsbo, and will be arriving Thursday afternoon.
Roger & Karen